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1. To continue burning (as of something that is already ablaze). We watched helplessly as our house burned away despite the firefighters' efforts. The candles on the birthday cake burned away while Molly made a wish.
2. To obliterate with fire, as of an object or substance that has been ignited. It's getting cold in here again because all the logs in the fireplace have burned away.
3. To use heat to remove something, as in a medical procedure. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "burn" and "away." The doctor told me that he will have to burn away some tissue to alleviate my pain.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
burn something away
to remove or destroy something by burning. The doctor burned the wart away. The doctor burned away the wart.
1. [for something] to burn until there is no more of it. All the oil burned away. The logs burned away and the fireplace was cooling down.
2. for something to keep on burning. The little fire burned away brightly, warming the tiny room. The candle burned away, giving a tiny bit of light to the huge room.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.